Arabic is one of the most important languages in the world today.
Indeed, nearly 300 million Arabic speakers practice it every day in territories spread across countries and continents around the world.
Arabic is one of the 10 most spoken languages in the world.
Of course, you want to learn Arabic as quickly as possible, right?
Superprof wants to help you achieve this bold goal. Before you start, you should know that Arabic is very different from Indonesian, both in form and structure.
The Arabic alphabet is completely different from that used in major European languages such as French, German, Spanish, and Portuguese. This makes the Arabic script not as commonly used by native Indonesian speakers.
What's more, Arabic varies between countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Each country has its specific dialect which means that some of the Arabic words, phrases, and expressions used will differ depending on which country you are in.
To make it even more complicated, the Arabic script has two different forms. One is called Modern Standard Arabic, and the other, Classical Arabic.
Fortunately, the differences between the two are very small and most Arabic speakers use them almost interchangeably.
How to Learn Arabic: The Basics
As we just mentioned, written Arabic is different from spoken Arabic. Therefore, you must be careful not to confuse the two.
Modern Standard Arabic is widely used in the media, press, and most books. Any product that has an international audience. Classical Arabic is the language used in Islam's holy book, the Qur'an.
Wanting to master all aspects of the Arabic language goes along with a very long process and a lot of effort which will certainly take years and lots of Arabic courses.
By focusing on a goal like learning modern literal Arabic, you can achieve success on your side and not waste too much of your motivation.
1. Buying a Good Language Book
You can't just pick a random edition. It is better to buy a trusted edition to learn Arabic.
This language is different from French, English, Spanish or German, and therefore it is important to always carry a grammar book with you when learning Arabic, especially if you are a beginner.
Here are some recommended books:
- Let's Talk Arabic: The second edition
- Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds [With DVD]
- Arabic for Nerds: 270 Questions on Arabic Grammar
- Arabic for Dummies: a Beginner's guide to Arabic
2. Choosing Online Resources
The internet is a great nest for powerful tools for learning Arabic.
Certain online programs and guides can help on your learning adventure.
Here are some free tools to help you learn Arabic online that you can rely on:
- Arabic Speak 7: This is an online language training program created to help with Arabic grammar. You'll find useful lists of verbs, pronouns, words, and sentences with clear and simple instructions on how to memorize them.
- Salaam Arabic: This is a very well-designed site that offers various free guides for learning Arabic.Each lesson is divided into categories, namely, days, numbers, religions, polite formulas, subjects, pronouns, and so on... There are also seven grammar sections for beginners and intermediate students.
- Medina Arabic: Another website that offers free online Arabic courses. This site focuses more on numbers, general vocabulary, and real situations. The most advanced users can take part in the discussion forums.
3. Basic Vocabulary Knowledge
To learn Arabic quickly, you must first learn basic everyday words that can help with conversation and understanding.
Familiarize yourself with some basic Arabic words such as "marhaban" for hello, "ma'a ssalamah" for goodbye, "aahlan wa sahlan bika" for the welcome, "kabir" for big, "saghir" for small, "Alyaum " for today, "akala" to eat, or "dahaba" to go.
Apps like Duolingo are great for learning Arabic vocabulary on the go on your smartphone.
4. Learn Arabic Alphabet
This is one of the foundations for learning Arabic quickly and efficiently.
It is impossible to speak Arabic without knowing its origins.
The letters of the Arabic alphabet and written text are read from right to left.
Some sounds are found in Arabic instead of Indonesian, and vice versa.
Use a website like Salaam Arabic to memorize a single alphabet. They have an audio pronunciation guide to help you in pronouncing each letter step by step.
Note that vowels are not written in Arabic but are represented by symbols called "fathas."
5. Making Vocabulary Sheets
The best way to learn a foreign language - and especially Arabic, which is considered difficult - is to memorize Arabic vocabulary.
An effective way to do this is to write a thematic list of vocabulary words on a worksheet or flashcard.
Start by writing the Arabic word on the front, with the translation on the back to memorize it.
The advantage is that this card doesn't take up much space. You can take it anywhere and test yourself as soon as you have some free time.
Then, over time, you will group the words you learn by meaning, theme, genre, and nature.
Unlike the Indonesian language, Arabic uses root words that often indicate the meaning of the word, which allows you to anticipate the meaning of the Arabic word.
Develop Your Arabic Knowledge
To quickly increase your knowledge while learning Arabic, consider the 4 pillars that will help you, whatever your level:
- Take Arabic courses: if possible, try to take university courses as these are of very high quality and more demanding than other classes. You will most likely have to pass a test to assess your knowledge and determine your level. Or you can take a tutoring class with a private tutor who will come to your home to teach you the basics of Arabic. Again, these professionals will evaluate your level and tailor the language courses and programs to suit your strengths and weaknesses, making the course more personal which will promote rapid progress.
- Read texts in Arabic: The best way to learn Arabic is to read in the original language. The more you read in a new language, the more your brain will get used to sounds and changing phrases. Your brain will begin to figure out how words work with each other. Why not try reading the Quran version? You can also find English or bilingual versions.
- Listening to Arabic: It is very important to immerse yourself in Arabic culture and listen to native Arabic speakers to learn the language and improve your beginner level. Feel free to listen to online radio in Arabic or watch TV in Arabic, like Al Jazeera for example.
- If you have a DVD, you can choose to watch your favorite movie in Arabic or turn on Arabic subtitles. This will help you better understand the conversation and what is being said.
- Refer to the dictionary regularly: to improve your written and spoken comprehension, an Indonesian-Arabic dictionary will be very helpful for remembering words. The more vocabulary you learn, the more you will be able to master the language.
Nurturing Your Linguistic Proficiency
When learning any language, immersion is very important. The more you are exposed to a language, the more you absorb it, both consciously and unconsciously.
By immersing yourself in Arabic, you will learn new words and vocabulary, as well as the context and grammar in which these words and vocabulary are used.
So make sure you open yourself up to as much cultural, religious, and educational information as possible!
1. Speak Arabic
It is not only important to memorize Arabic vocabulary but to read Arabic texts as well. You have to hear yourself say it, and keep practicing the pronunciation.
Immerse yourself in the culture with native speakers. It could be in a coffee shop, bar, library, or even when you talk directly to the shop owner while abroad.
2. Join the Discussion Forum
The internet is full of forums and places to discuss Arabic. This is also a great opportunity to find associations or workshops that offer Arabic learner meetings near you.
3. Visiting the Cultural Center
In most major cities, there is at least one center of Arab culture.
Feel free to venture out there to discover a new language or deepen your knowledge of Arabic.
As you can see, there is not just one method, but several different ways to learn Arabic quickly.
There is no age to learn Arabic. While adults don't benefit, teaching children Arabic is quite effective because of their sense of observation, and adaptation to new linguistic contexts is not as strong as those of 0-9-year-olds. However, don't let that discourage you!
Learning Arabic on your own is certainly not an easy task: this particular language requires the presence of an Arabic teacher or at least someone who knows and speaks the language perfectly.
Studying it on your own can create bad habits in you regarding grammatical structure or pronunciation.